Cian O'Callaghan TD

The revelation that just 3,000 homes are being charged the Vacant Homes Tax shows that a significant amount of work is needed to ensure the measure is effective, according to Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan.

Deputy O’Callaghan, who is the party’s housing spokesperson, said:

“Ireland’s housing crisis continues to have a devastating impact on people’s lives all over the country. The floundering Vacant Homes Tax is the latest example of this Government’s ineffective measures and half-baked plans.

“There were a staggering 166,000 vacant homes identified in the 2022 Census – 48,000 of these have been empty for over six years and the figures do not include holiday homes.

“Bringing these empty properties back into use is the fastest and most sustainable way to increase the supply of urgently needed homes.

“Revenue monitored electricity usage to identify an initial 25,000 vacant homes that were issued with letters asking the owners to pay the Vacant Homes Tax.

“This makes it particularly frustrating that just 3,000 homes so far are being charged the tax – a drop in the ocean in terms of Ireland’s true level of empty properties.

“A well-designed Vacant Homes Tax, combined with grants that are available for renovations, should be an effective tool to bring these empty homes back into use.

“However, the Vacant Homes Tax, as it currently stands, is miles off making a meaningful difference to this country’s housing crisis.”

November 22, 2023

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